Ophthalmology patients set to benefit from new service at Sherwood Forest Hospitals

Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2021 2:13 PM

Ophthalmology patients set to benefit from new service at Sherwood Forest Hospitals

Ophthalmology patients at Sherwood Forest Hospitals have a new and improved service thanks to a new community diagnostic centre that has been set up at Ashfield Health Village.

The service, run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals, allows patients with glaucoma and macular degenerative disease to access a range of diagnostics tests as needed including; having a vision test, their optic pressures measured, a scan of their optic nerve and a field test all within around half an hour.

The diagnostic service was first trialled at King’s Mill Hospital during the pandemic, to ensure that patients with these time sensitive conditions were seen in a timely way. After the success of the trial it was agreed that a permanent diagnostic centre should be set up and so the Trust, using nationally available accelerator funds, worked to set up the new community diagnostic centre at Ashfield Health Village.

Both the diagnostic service at King’s Mill and the new diagnostic centre at Ashfield Health Village have helped to significantly reduce the backlog of patients needing ophthalmology diagnostic tests, ensuring that ophthalmology patients at Sherwood have not had to wait too long for their tests.  

Healthcare Support Worker, Michelle Tarry explained the benefits to patients: “The new service is more streamlined and ensures that there’s less waiting times for patients in between their tests. This means we can potentially see more patients and ensure we are providing outstanding care, as we have more time to spend with them, which helps when we are explaining things. It’s definitely a quicker and slicker service for our patients, who can then usually get their results a few days after their tests.”

Consultant Ophthalmologist, Vineeta Munshi added: “Ophthalmic conditions, particularly, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration can cause irreversible visual loss if not treated in a timely manner, so I’m proud to say that we managed to address this by setting up the diagnostic clinics at King’s Mill Hospital and Ashfield health village to see our patients in the most efficient manner during and in the recovery phase of the pandemic.

The new diagnostic centre is currently open Monday – Wednesday and has been running since the end of July, with patients giving really positive feedback. Patient Betty Breen, 82, from Jacksdale who came in for her glaucoma test said: “It’s the first time I have been to the new centre, it’s much quicker than I expected and there’s no waiting in between appointments, which is better. The staff are really friendly and courteous, I’d definitely recommend the service to other patients. It’s really convenient for me here, as I only live around ten minutes away.” 

It is hoped that the diagnostic centre will open Monday – Friday over time, as more patients use the service and more diagnostic tests become available at the centre. 

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